Governmental Enterprise Accounts Receivable Collections (GEAR): is a collection program, authorized by S.C. Code Â§ 12-4-580 (enacted in 1996), that allows the Department of Revenue (SCDOR) to use setoff debt and additional collection tools, such as payment plans, wage garnishments and bank levies to collect bad debts for public entities. SCAC has been assisting counties with GEAR collections since 2001.
- Governmental entities can opt to use Setoff Debt, GEAR, or both programs. Entities have flexibility in deciding which accounts to put into the GEAR program and/or the Setoff Debt Collection program. SCAC assists in maintaining separate data files and financial files for each program.
- GEAR allows continued collections when a debtor does not have an income tax return. With GEAR, governmental entity debt is treated like any State tax debt, subject to the same collection tools available to DOR such as levy and garnishment. This allows a higher collection rate for larger debts.
- Using GEAR, entities can lighten administrative burden to staff. SCAC assists entities with the daily program and data operations. SCDOR, sends collection notices, handles phone inquiries, sets up payment schedules, and makes collections.
- SCAC Services are FREE to participating entities. (View all SCAC services.) SCDOR charges a 22% fee, paid by the entities, for debts that are collected through payment plans and wage garnishments.
- Entities must follow due process procedures for debtors, as defined in the statute (see Setoff Debt Collection Act).
- SCAC will send GEAR files to SCDOR in December. Other accounts can be added to GEAR throughout the year. Accounts will then stay in the SCDOR system and rollover from year to year.
- After January 1, entities receive monthly GEAR payments and reports.